Local Heroes #48 – Bulent Duagi, the Co-founder of Mobile Academy in Bucharest

"For me it’s important to be insatiably curious," says Bulent Duagi, co-founder of Mobile Academy. He was born and raised in Constanta, the Romanian city by the sea that has all the cultural mixes. Nowadays, he works as a successful and inspiring coach in Bucharest.

Published by Raluca on 15/07/2016

Bulent Duagi, began his career in Bucharest as a HR Business Partner at Adobe. Then, at Vodafone on the same position. At Bitdefender he worked as a Product Manager on Mac & iOS Security Products and now he is the co-founder of Mobile Academy – a platform that offers a wide range of workshops and courses to empower businesses thrive in the mobile development area.

I feel inspired listening to him at different events talking about the people’s infinite possibilities to improve their relationships with the city they live in, to become better connectors and start doing something worthy of them.  He’s a Citinerary guy: intuitive, visionary, witty; someone who likes doing things for the city he lives in.

Being a leader means to inspire people, to manage actions, to improve a system. You create those connections between people. You worked and continue to work with a lot of leaders. Do they understand their role? 

Hard to say that. People are different. They act differently. What could I say? Some people are better as individual contributors. Being a leader means also to improve a system and to connect with people, to inspire and guide then to do things worthy.

You work at different scales, from people and their ideas to products. Do you have a singular approach, which underscores all your work? I saw that your work often embraces new formulas, how important have these advances been in allowing you to fully realize the full scope of your vision?

This has always been important to me. How to develop programs when there’s no curiosity involved? Lots of self-study is needed in order to get great at anything, in any domain of activity. Technologies, methodologies, practices, products are constantly changing. A curious mind will help a lot in staying up-to-date.Different projects interest me equally, although there are obviously large differences according to the process of each project. But all come out from the same thing; all the projects are connected somehow.

If the place you live in improves with 10%, it means you're improving.You have to seek mentors.Having an experienced person that you can discuss with is of great help. You can get insights about the challenges that you will face when learning new strategies, tips and tricks from their experience, and, why not, support in making career decisions.

If I were to say this Citinerary-wise, I would put it like this: you need to have a good manager surrounded by visionary people and this is how you’ll be able to do good things and contribute to city’s needs. I believe that work and education are very connected. What is interesting, however, is the way you connect things to make them more thrilling than education will make them, which I think is a real turning point.

So what you are saying is that a city needs to find its flavor and all of us should contribute to making it a better place to live in?

Of course. We are in constant change: people, places, situations. Our mission, if you like to call it like that, should be harmonious with our environment, with the place we live in, with the people we are surrounded by. We must create a bound, like in relationships: you need to know very well that person to know how to bring out the full potential from him. I believe that every detail counts. Bucharest has so much potential in every aspect: education, architecture, cultural events and also the tech zone. That is why, for the moment, it’s the best fit because it keeps me alive and willing to want to do more with my “divergent” way.

Do you have any advice for young people who want to start a career in Bucharest?

They have to be focused, work very hard and of course to have a goal. Doesn’t matter the city you live in, what matters is the people here ‘cause they make the city as it is. Every city has its beauty, its advantages, and its minuses, depending on how you look at it. For me, as a young student, Bucharest has been friendly and full of opportunities.

You told me you always think of your actions in terms of future. Tell me: how you imagine Bucharest in 5 years?

I like Bucharest because it has contrast, as my hometown. We need to take advantage of that feature and to look at it with much more responsibility. I see Bucharest as a city with many other start-ups developing innovative products or services for global markets. Also, many more professionals contributing with their expertise in making the city better: marketers, service designers, makers, festival organizers, urbanists and so on- People able to contribute to a city close to that ideal place for dreamers like our generation.

You can read more on his personal blog and start up official site.


- Raluca -

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